Arise from the harsh winter and the brooding slumber that it offers forth.
Has your Winter been littered with visions and whispers of needful introspection? Or have you fallen into an unconscious stupor?
Treacherous conditions and barren externals of landscape force the eye to gaze inward at oneself and also at the factors which shape one’s life, be it kith, kin or a broader catchment still. Unrelenting and unerring critique of self and shared reality, when guided by the undying light of Truth, will bring all manner of skeletons out of long-forgotten closets. The indestructible bond of kinship weaves even tighter still, as each are there for the other not only during plentiful Harvests and golden Summers but also during the trying grip of Winter too. Dancing across the liminal thresholds of Order and Chaos, survival and destruction, affords one a treasured perspective, a perspective that cannot be garnered from the bounds of comfort and egoic-soothing.
After all, we should be willing to give up our eyes at the very least for such clear vision…
With very little outward distraction during the dark-tide, whispers on the wind are heard with a staggering clarity, the measures of men are given indiscriminately. The Old ‘Uns do not care for, nor even consider, the fragile empires and self-aggrandizement of ambitious folk. Such paper towers will be scattered accordingly over the course of time, anything without solid foundations will always fall in the end. With bleak winter scrutiny and foundations in mind, please humour me a while and hold on to this structural imagery; the natural structure of the naked tree withstands the roaring whip of the winds… provided it has deep and well-spread roots. The man-made structure of the tower has a well-rooted mass hidden under ground-level, unattractive yet essential, just as the root system may seem an eye-sore attached to flora in full-bloom, without such, there will be no blossoming or development.
Foundations? Root-systems? What has this got to do with one’s Craft?
My rambling above will have little meaning for egotists and those content with self-delusion, yet for those discontent with the shallow shouting of the superficial, you hunger for something more. More often than not, you are unsure of what exactly you search for, yet you will know it when you encounter it, just as you know the dishonesty of charlatans when you are subject to it. This intuition, this humble inner teacher, is worth its proverbial ‘weight in gold’. The challenge for the neophyte and also the seasoned journeyman is to be able to distinguish between egoic chatter and the Beloved’s whisper, a distinction that can be nurtured with each Round, provided that proper preparation is in place, corners cannot be cut.
Therefore, what a blessing the perilous tide of Winter proves to be! Crowned with the jewel of Hope that is Candlemas-tide. Once again, the most necessary work may be viewed as the least glamorous, yet ensuring such preliminary care and attention allows for less toil and strain further along the journey and allows one’s reaping in due course to be plentiful and offer true nourishment for the soul. Winter’s plumbing the depths of self needn’t be a masochistic affair so long as we are able to slough off accordingly the dross discovered. Self-loathing is of no use to anybody, and denial of any dross within the make up of the persona is useless further still. As the smith strikes out impurities upon the anvil, we too have a duty to purify ourselves from any shortcomings discovered. Let go, move on, cast them to the winds.
All is grist to the Mill.
Heed these words, the tide is now.
Flags, Flax & Fodder,
Ulric “Gestumblindi” Goding
Níwe Dæg – Níwe Léoht – Níwe Hopan